Heat Should Listen to Wade and Sign A.I.
The move makes perfect sense. Just pay Iverson the $5.8 million mid-level exception for a year, and a deal will get done. Quit trying to negotiate a bargain, and just pay the tax.
Imagine the fun that a backcourt of Iverson and Wade could produce this season while the Heat retains its ability to land another big-name free agent next summer and gets serious about winning another championship.
In the meantime, they will have the most exciting backcourt in the NBA, one of those stand-back-and-wait-for-the-highlight type of duets that fans love to see.
Sorry, Mario Chalmers, but you'll have to sit down and watch for a year. You may have started all 82 games last season at point guard, but this isn't about planning for the future. It's about winning games now, about keeping Wade happy.
It's been a long time since the NBA had a starting backcourt that averaged 60 points a game, and that would get everyone's attention. No, neither one is a true point guard, and yes, they would be be a defensive liability at times, but putting Wade and Iverson together could make the Heat a traveling road show, and spark an unbelievable interest at a time when the Heat needs to sell tickets.
Iverson deserves it, too.
He is coming off the most painful season of his career, traded to Detroit, where he didn't fit, and where he insanely was asked to come off the bench. At 34, he remains the toughest little man who ever played the game, still full of pride and still good enough to score when he wants.
He has done too much for the NBA through the years to let him finish his career with one of those also-ran teams. No one wants to remember him pouting in Detroit. We want to see him go out in his typical blaze of glory, pinballling his way into the lane to hit an impossible shot.
Both Wade and the Heat management already know they can't win big this season because of their salary cap plans for next summer. They made the playoffs and lost in the first round last season, leaving Wade filled with frustration.
Wade wants to feel like a winner again and to be relevant, which is not how he felt last season when he was overused and beat up beyond belief as he tried to carry the load. Iverson would be everything he needs. And let's see opponents try to guard Iverson and Wade on opposite sides of the floor.
If they shine together, it will make it even more attractive next summer when they try and add a free agent like Chris Bosh or Dirk Nowitzki or Carlos Boozer. Iverson would be happy to tailor his game to win his first NBA title.
Even with Iverson this season, they won't be good enough to consistently beat the likes of Orlando, Cleveland or Boston. But with Iverson, Miami would be an upset possibility every night, and that's a start.